Seeds from open-pollinated to hybrid seed. With the

Seeds of
all traditional varieties are owned and maintained by farming households. These
are part of the common heritage of farming households. Techniques of seed
preservation are developed by these households and they had full control over
the seeds. Traditional varieties were low yielding and failed to meet the
growing food demand of farming households. Gradually traditional seeds are
captured by Multinational Companies and used for producing hybrid seeds having
higher yield potentiality. Farmers were attracted by these and they were given
governmental support to grow these seeds. As a result, farmers stopped growing
traditional varieties and lose their seeds. The basic seed right of a farmer
has been victim of politics of Government to the loss of farmer. Those who
still grow traditional varieties, hybrid seeds pollute them and seriously
damage their fertility.

In India, resource farmers face
the dilemma of procuring modern seeds with potentially higher yields or keeping
traditional varieties that are less vulnerable to pest and disease and better
adapted to varying climatic conditions. Green Foundation is one such
organization which focuses on strengthening community based biodiversity
conservation. Green Foundation motivated members of local Krushi self-help
groups to establish community seed banks in a selected cluster of villages.
Each community seed bank has members from four to seven neighboring villages.
Self-help group members who are interested in conservation take active part in
managing the seed banks. Green Foundation, on its part, trains farmers in seed
selection, storage by traditional methods and record keeping and manages
disbursals of seeds. Farmers receive seeds from the bank in return for double
the quantity after the harvest. In times of crop failure, farmers compensate
with other varieties which they hold and return the seed the next season.
Community sharing of information on seed varieties, storing capacity,
germination, crop yields and disease resistance are crucial to enhance local
knowledge of seed production.

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Throughout history, seeds have
been bred and shared openly between farmers, communities and governments.
However, a major shift occurred following World War Two with the transition
from open-pollinated to hybrid seed. With the task of feeding a growing
population, agricultural scientists bred crops for yield, nitrogen uptake
efficiency, pesticide resistance and shelf life. Hybrid seed became increasingly
productive and widely available.

With hybrid seed, farmers could
choose more productive varieties that required less labor. A decreased demand
for labor facilitated urbanization throughout the 20th century, which also
meant a general loss of knowledge of how to farm, as people moved out of rural
areas. Access to hybrid seed as well as declining numbers of farmers also led
to a loss of seed saving expertise, and since the green revolution 75% of
agricultural biodiversity on earth has been lost. Reclaiming biodiversity is
thus a critical goal of the seed sovereignty movement. (Hoidal, N. 2015)

Hybrid seed has eroded seed
sovereignty through the use of patents. Breeding a single hybrid variety can
take up to 30 years and requires significant labor and investment. Acts such as
the Plant Variety Protection Act in the United States and the establishment of
the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants based in
Geneva have helped to secure intellectual property rights for breeders. Currently,
farmers who purchase hybrid seed are prevented by intellectual property laws
from saving seed year to year. Hybrid seed is generally their only choice – it
is so dominant in the marketplace that farmers now struggle to access
non-hybrid varieties, giving large seed breeders a near monopoly on what crops
are grown. (Hoidal, N. 2015)

The patent system is also
notorious for biopiracy. Traditional plants around the world such as neem,
ayahuasca, maca and basmati rice have been patented by biomedical and food
companies, often after being taken from local communities without their
consent. In response to biopiracy, food sovereignty movements like La Via
Campesina have taken a primarily protectionist and reactionary approach by
blocking bills that prohibit sharing seed or blocking access for companies such
as Monsanto from selling their hybrid and often transgenic seed in developing
nations.

Community seed banks store and manage seeds that aim to provide
community members with seeds to use. Seeds are obtained from the farmers in the
community and are selected and stored depending on the agreed storage system.
Once the seeds are collected from the farmers, they are stored in a community
seed bank until they are needed. (FAO,2014) Like Vivian Sansour make seed
library that allows Palestinian farmers to take seeds of endangered fruits and
vegetables and plant them, provided they return new seeds at the end of the
season. She also works with farmers, teachers, and students in writing down
seed stories, collecting oral history related to the land. She calls her work
“agri-culture.” (SALDAÑA, S.2017)

Sovereignty, autonomy, history it’s all in the seed bank project
that’s it the bank to stores seed and preserve genetic diversity, it is a type
of gene bank. facilitates for
utilization by providing easy access to databases, strengthen utilization with
elite line development, collaborative marker assisted selection, tagging and
mapping genes, screening germplasm, pre-breeding works and collaborations.( Ivo
Peres,2016)